Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese

We’re approaching the time of year when I forsake my married name and relive my bachelorette days. No, I’m not craving a sketchy bar hook up—I’m after my Irish roots and Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese.

 Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese

I grew up Erin O’Neill. Could that name be any more Irish? In grade school, my Grandpa O’Neill told me the less-than-appetizing history of The Red Hand of Ulster and how it came to be on our family crest. I was fascinated. (For the curious, our mutual friend Wikipedia had the deets.) In college, I raided every scrap of St. Patrick’s Day décor from the clearance aisle at Target, then proceeded to hang it year-round until graduation. I sport my Irish heritage with gusto, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.

Despite my obnoxious tangible pride for my Irish heritage, I do have a little secret—I’m actually more German than Irish. In fact, I’m such a medley of origins, my genes could practically form their own EU. Will that stop me from blasting Irish music, sneaking some Bailey’s into my coffee, and wearing my “Erin Go Bragh” button on St. Patrick’s Day? Absolutely not.

No matter your heritage, St. Patrick’s Day is a free pass to baptize yourself Irish for 24 hours, drink a Shamrock Shake for breakfast (it’s basically a smoothie, right?), slip some Irish whiskey into your Diet Coke, then settle in for dinner with Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Despite my affinity for my Irish heritage, I spent most of my life believing that I didn’t like corned beef. My logic: the name. The word “corned” sounds terrible, particularly when used in reference to something I’m about to put into my mouth. Then a few years ago, my roommate made corned beef for a special St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Out of respect for her efforts, I took a small bite with every intention of hiding the rest in my napkin. (Does that trick still work?). To my happy surprise, the corned beef was delightful, and I’ve eaten it on every St. Paddy’s Day since.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Well Plated by Erin

As it turns out, “corned” refers to the “corns” of salt that are used to cure the beef. (Note to the butchers in the audience: You might increase your corned beef sales if you set out a small sign with this explanation.) Though corned beef is traditionally served in thick slices with a side of cabbage, for St. Patrick’s Day I thought it would be even more festive to involve a third Irish product: Irish cheddar.
\Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese with gooey Irish Cheddar
To turn corned beef into Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese is to follow the old Irish adage: Where the question is “Cheese?” the answer is yes.

I definitely made that up, and I’m definitely standing by it. Creamy Irish cheddar + shaved corned beef + amped-up sautéed cabbage, smashed together with whole grain mustard on pumpernickel bread—dear ancestors, would you be appalled or impressed?

Verdict: impressed. I didn’t ask, but I did eat two of these sandwiches in one sitting. The salty corned beef flavor with the savory cabbage, gooey molten cheese, and sharp mustard fuse fabulously into one seriously satisfying sandwich. Great Great Great Grandpa, I’ve done you proud!
Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled CheeseWe’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so this year let’s celebrate with Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese. After all, if melty gooey cheese on buttery bread can’t unite us, what can?  (Besides a few rounds of Guinness of course!)

Corned Beef and Cabbage Grilled Cheese

The ultimate St. Patrick's Day grilled cheese sandwich! Salty corned beef, sauteed cabbage, and gooey Irish cheddar on pumpernickel bread create a savory, satisfying sandwich that's perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any quick weeknight dinner.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced green cabbage (1/4 small head)
  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion (1/4 large)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces corned beef
  • 4 slices pumpernickel or dark rye bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus additional for griddle as needed.
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese or other white cheddar (about 4 ounces)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, cabbage, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the water sauce, then cover and let cook until the cabbage is tender, 15-20 minutes. Check and stir the mixture about every 5 minutes. If it becomes to dry, add a bit more water so that the vegetables do not stick to the pan. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and cook, uncovered, for 2 additional minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon butter a large non-stick skillet over medium heat or preheat a Panini press.
  3. Assemble sandwiches: Spread 1 side of each bread slice with 1/4 tablespoon butter for grilling. Spread the other side of the bread slices with 1/2 tablespoon mustard. Layer the sandwiches as follows: bread slice (butter side down), 1/4 cup cheese, 2 ounces corned beef, 1/2 of the sautéed cabbage mixture, additional 1/4 cup shredded cheese, final bread slice (butter side up). Grill the sandwiches for 2-4 minutes on each side, until bread is toasty and the cheese is melted.

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...


  1. So my husband just saw this. And now he isn’t going to like anything that I make him ever again, unless it’s this.
    Just kidding. Sort of.
    Seriously though, this is AWESOME SAUCE!
    And cheese is always the answer to everything. Even if you did make that up.

  2. Well,I’m a sucker for a good reuben so I can imagine how I would get hooked on this! Look at all that delicious meat! Mmm….

    • Yes Melanie! If you are a reuben fan, this grilled cheese has your name alllllll over it.

    • Exactly what I was thinking! And this sounds like it has SLIGHTLY fewer calories and fat grams…what with the mustard instead of 1000 island dressing lol. (That’s probably wishful thinking but I’m going to eat it anyway.)

  3. Ok, I need this grilled cheese in my life, like now! It looks perfect for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day holiday, and the photos are gorgeous! I also love raiding Target clearance isles, and think that your adage of ‘Where the question is “Cheese?” the answer is yes’ is a definitely a keeper :)

  4. You just took corned beef & cabbage to the best place ever!!! Amazing sandwich!

  5. Beef grilled cheese is one of my ultimate indulgences! There is a market stall here that does a salt beef grilled cheese on a rye muffin – so so good!

    Cabbage sounds like an addition I’ve been missing out on!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

    • Teffy, cabbage is one of my new favorite veggies for stir fries, and yes, sammies too! It has a nice crunch at takes on flavor so well.
      I’m kind of smitten with the thought of a rye muffin for a grilled cheese. Hello YUM!

  6. although I have nothing Irish or German in me, I love this festival…

  7. My husband is Irish and he has been asking me to make corned beef and cabbage for years … and I’ve yet to do it! Whoops! But as a grilled cheese?? This may push me to actually do it! lol

  8. That looks like a seriously delicious sandwich! Especially on that pumpernickel bread. I always secretly quite liked corned beef as a child but it seems to have gone ‘out of fashion’ now … at least in England. Maybe this sandwich will trigger a corned beef revival! I actually hope so!

  9. We have corned beef and cabbage every year on St. Patrick’s Day and thank you for this delicious recipe to use with the leftovers the next day! Yum!

  10. NEED this!! I’m majorly into corned beef, and piled into a grilled cheese……ugh, I’ll take one everyday for the next week please. Pinned!

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  12. Cabbage on sandwiches is the best! I fell in love with Ruebens a couple months ago and have never looked back. This sandwich looks even better! Corned beef is amazing stuff.

  13. Sign me up. This is my kind of sandwich, even though I’m not Irish.

  14. Erin! You create the best quick dinners… this looks like bliss in sandwich form! I’m English by heritage and Scottish through marriage but I’d happily be Irish for a day if I got to eat this slab of deliciousness. Particularly if it was accompanied by a pint of Guinness (I love the stuff… Aaron hates it, he thinks it tastes like liquid sludge. Ah, can’t please everyone, right?!). Happy St Pat’s Day sweetness!

  15. Mrs. thelawstudentswife, aka, Miss O’Neil – this sandwich looks delish – I had no idea what “corned” beef really was – thanks for enlightening me today!

  16. Your recipe mashups are everything ever. I dub thee Queen of Everything.

  17. Well now that I know that corning refers to salt, I am MUCH less weirded out by it!! GOOD.TO.KNOW. Now i feel like I can celebrate St. Paddy’s Day properly!

  18. Agreed- everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day! And the day is even better with one of these fabulous grilled cheese sandwiches! Complete with Guinness :)

  19. So seasonal, and who doesn’t love a grilled cheese anything?! Way to go Erin, guess even though i’m not irish (Scandinavian all the way!) I will have to jump onto the 24 hour irish train this year and make this. Thanks for sharing :)

  20. I have a sister named Erin who has always been infatuated with all things Ireland despite no real Irish roots, and finally gets to visit it this fall…I’ll tell her to save her money and make this amazingness at home :)

  21. This is the ultimate corned beef sandwich! My husband would love it!

  22. consuelohoneyandfigs Reply

    There are little things better than Irish cheddar. Oh wow, I love that stuff and I’m pretty sure it makes such a killer sandwich. Ahhh this looks beyonf delish!

  23. This is the perfect lunch! Will be making this for hubby soon, Thanks Erin!

  24. These are the time I wish I were even a 1/10 Irish! Greek don’t eat a lot of corned beef, but I for one LOVE this sandwich!

  25. oh my! this is sooo appetizing! just get me that sandwich and a pickle and i am one happy girl!

  26. What a great sandwich! I love grilled cheese and I live reubens, and this is like a bit of both. Delicious!

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  28. Oh my gosh, this looks like the ultimate corned beef sandwich! Love the sauteed cabbage and cheese always makes everything better – my husband would be so stoked if I made this for him :)

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  30. OH my beautiful. I need this sandwich.

  31. I adore corned beef! This is the perfect sandwich for March!

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  33. This sandwich looks all kinds of amazing!

  34. This is going to be a sandwich that I will make year round! I love fancied up grilled cheese, and this one sounds delish! :)

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  41. The recipe sounds wonderful and I will definitely try it with leftovers after the next St Patrick’s Day’s feast.  I really enjoyed your banter too.  It was really fun reading your comments about the recipe as you described it.  I will be back to your site!

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